By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the death toll from the Ebola virus in West Africa closed in on 900 people, religious leaders in Philadelphia’s Liberian community have come together to lend support for the scores of victims in their home country.
“This has been a rough year,” says Nora Solo. “The children died in the fire, and the funeral is the 16th. And then Ebola is going on.”
Solo was one of several Liberian immigrants who sat in the sanctuary of Victory Harvest Fellowship International Church, on South 59th Street, praying and singing as part of a three-day fast and prayer vigil for Liberia.
The theme of the vigil: Ebola Must Go.
“Liberians are worried for the people back home, and we are crying every day. We ask that you pray for us,” Solo says.
“These are people with family members back there in Liberia, and relatives, friends, and loved ones,” notes
Pastor Anthony Sengbe, a member of the Liberian Ministers Association of the Delaware Valley.
He has opened his church from 6am to 6pm for prayer and for in-kind donations. Among the items being sought are gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer to send overseas.
“Whenever something happens to one, it’s not just about that person, but about everybody,” he says.